Search This Blog

An Ode to Unfatherly Figures

01/04/2024 @ 21:08

In the world of parenting, there are superheroes, and then there are... well, let's just say, less-than-superheroes. Today, I pen a blog entry that's a tad serious, with a sprinkle of sarcasm, about the latter: a father who's more of a guest star in his daughter's life than a main cast member.

He comes, he sees, he... naps? Yes, folks, the father of the year graces us with his presence for a whopping twenty minutes at a time, or sometimes, he might even stretch it to a few hours... spent mostly in the land of nod; he will literally come by to sleep and whine about Flower being too noisy. It's like a cameo appearance in a sitcom, except nobody's laughing.

Addicted to weed and who knows what else, he floats through life and through his paternal duties. The toy box? Filled with love from everyone but him. The wardrobe? A collection of garments untouched by his wallet. It's a miracle he remembers his daughter's name, although I suspect he might think it's a new strain of cannabis; anything to do with buds and flowers should be easy for him, right?

Despite being as clueless about handling a toddler as a fish is about tree climbing, he's got a PhD in criticism. Oh yes, he can confidently point out the 'flaws' in my mothering. It's a talent, really, to be so sure of oneself with zero evidence to back it up. He is willing to have his daughter ride out the agony of an infected ear rather than wrestle her down to give pain and anti-inflammatory meds, because it requires effort and looks 'so violent'.

He'll show up and if he's relatively sober, he'll leave within half an hour repeating "I can't do this. I can't do this. I have to go." as if someone invited him or even wants him here. The lack of his presence doesn't make our life harder... quite the opposite. It's fatherhood on a timer and Flower just deserves better.

I try. I try to foster a relationship between them, never denying access, always hoping for a change. But as Flower grows, so does the realization that she might just learn to resent the man who's more a myth than a dad. And I? Well, I'm already well on that path. It's a sad state of affairs when hope starts to look like the punchline of a bad joke.

Here's to all the single parents out there, doing double duty. You're the real MVPs. As for the part-timers? Maybe one day they'll realize that parenting isn't a guest role; it's the lead. Until then, we'll keep the show running - no bloody thanks to them.

No comments:

Post a Comment